birds in a barrel's mission is to release creative nonfiction into the wild.

40 Days & 40 Writes is its first project.

The Good Samaritan

1975. My not yet husband had just received a settlement from a car accident. He was a good Samaritan, and in the act of assisting a victim, he was hit by on oncoming car. Banged up and needing dental work, he came out of it ok.

When the money arrived, he knew exactly what he wanted to do with it. A trip to the South Pacific. We planned and prepared with Frommer's on the $20 dollars a day plan. We figured we could stretch it out on the cheap for a month.

The itinerary: Rarotonga (Cook Islands), Fiji, and Tahiti.
Technically, Fiji is the farthest distance at 8,914 km. The Cooks second at 7,710 km and Tahiti coming in third 6,818 km.

Rarotonga was the sweetest island experience. A British Polynesian hybrid. In order to get a flight and disembark, one had to have proof of a hotel reservation on the island. After the first night in a moldy carpeted room, we checked out.

Kiki Motel became our little housekeeping apartment with a coral reef just outside and complete with a black cat that came begging.
With a fan and jalousies, we could keep the air circulating.

Besides the visual of landing on little island surrounded by coral reef, we were given another lasting memory. As the plane descended, we could see a small herd of goats on the landing strip. Third World.

We didn't see many cars. Transportation was by motor scooter. We rented one for our week's stay. Zipping around was breezy and better than air conditioning. It was a good excuse to go to the market for a baguette and lamby New Zealand butter.

On Sunday, we had planned to go to church, but wanted to gad about instead on the bike. We slowed by the church as we heard a choir lifting sounds into the tropical air. The Polynesian harmonies were resonant, transcendent and multi-layered. We wished we had gone to church instead. Church goers in pareaus and brilliant floral hats, barefoot, sauntered home after services. It could not have been more civilized.

Hey, Y'All

Notes and Observations About the Stranger(s) Next Door